UGC, AICTE heads out of body that picks IIT directors

The composition of the search-cum-selection committee for the director's post of IITs has been changed. The new format was approved in the IIT Council meeting held last week.

Also, in order to free faculty members from laboratory/workshop responsibilities so that they devote time to research and teaching, the overall ratio of faculty-technical staff has been increased to 1:1.3 instead of the existing 1:1.1.

The selection committee has also been empowered to give the incumbent director another term if it feels that he/she has "demonstrated outstanding capabilities in providing leadership to the institution and accomplished some of the goals set out for the institutions".

In the new selection committee, chairpersons of University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education have been removed. "The change has been made as per the regulations of the department of personnel and training which stipulates that members of the selection committee should be one rank above the post for which selection is to be made. The chairpersons of UGC and AICTE are in the same rank and pay as directors of IITs," an official said.

The new selection committee will have the HRD minister as chairperson. It will consist of two members from the Standing Committee of IIT Council (SCIC) to be selected by the chairperson, chairperson of the board of governors of the IIT for which director is to be appointed and the chairperson of the SCIC.

In case the chairperson of the SCIC happens to be the chairperson of the IIT concerned, then the chairperson of the board of governors of another IIT will be nominated by the HRD minister. Additional secretary or joint secretary in-charge of technical education in the HRD ministry will serve the selection committee as non-member secretary. This is the second time after the Institutes of Technology Act, 1963 was passed that change has been made in the composition of the selection committee. In the 1980s, chairperson AICTE was included as a member.

As for increased faculty-technical staff ratio, IIT directors have been complaining about the shortage of technical manpower, especially in the older IITs. Also, change in research and introduction of new equipment requiring different technical skill sets are required.
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